Commentary

Gordon tops Johnson on Happy Hour speed charts

Jeff Gordon beat Chase foe Jimmie Johnson on the speed chart for the final practice session Saturday at PIR, but not by much.

Updated: November 10, 2007, 5:05 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Give Jeff Gordon the advantage after Happy Hour, but not by much.

Gordon was fifth on the speed chart for the final practice session Saturday at Phoenix International Speedway. But Nextel Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson wasn't far behind, posting the seventh-best lap in the session on the 1-mile oval.

Gordon starts third and Johnson sixth in the Checker Auto parts 500 Sunday. Johnson had a 30-point advantage in the Chase with two races remaining.

Gordon's best lap in Happy Hour was 128.751 mph in the No. 24 Chevrolet. Johnson's best lap was 128.429 mph in the No. 48 Chevy.

Gordon won at PIR in the April night race. Johnson finished fourth.

Martin Truex Jr. posted the fastest lap in the final practice at 129.125 mph in the No. 1 Chevy.

Sam Hornish Jr. had the best lap of the open-wheel newbies, but it was only good enough for 36th on the speed chart. Patrick Carpentier was 38th and Jacques Villeneuve was 39th.

NASCAR team owner Roger Penske is expected to announce Saturday night in Scottsdale, Ariz., that Hornish is moving to Cup full time in 2008.

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at terry@blountspeak.com.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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